ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
The Raw Food Diet
For Fitness, Cutting Calories May Not Be Enough
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Smog Tougher on the Obese
EYE CARE, VISION
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The International Agency for Research on Cancer on Tuesday moved tanning beds to its highest cancer risk category -- "carcinogenic to humans," according to a new report.

Previously, the agency had classified sunlamps and tanning beds as "probably" carcinogenic, so the move puts the devices a notch higher in terms of risk. It also echoes calls by some U.S. experts to place tougher warnings and restrictions on tanning bed use.

"The use of tanning beds can be deleterious to your health and we hope to encourage governments to formulate restrictions and regulations for the use of tanning beds," said report coauthor Beatrice Secretan, from the Cancer Monograph Working Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. The Agency is part of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The first priority of the WHO is to restrict the use of tanning beds by those under 18, Secretan said. "If controls are put in place it will reduce the risks of the users or deter people from using them," she said.

One U.S. expert agreed. "This new report confirms and extends the prior recommendation of the American Cancer Society that the use of tanning beds is dangerous to your health, and should be avoided," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

The report is published in the August issue of The Lancet Oncology.

In June, scientists from nine countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer to pore over data associating tanning beds with the risk of skin cancer.

Their review concluded that the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent when use of tanning beds and sunlamps begins before 30 years of age. In addition, several studies provided evidence of a link between the use of UV-emitting tanning devices and melanoma of the eye.

The genetic mutation caused by UV radiation has previously been attributed to UVB radiation alone. However, the same mutation was found in the skin of mice exposed to UVA radiation, and that radiation caused the mice to develop tumors, the researchers noted.

These findings caused the agency to reclassify all UV radiation -- including UVA, UVB and UVC -- as carcinogenic to humans. Previously the agency had classified UVA, UVB and UVC radiation as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"The report firmly establishes ultraviolet radiation as a human carcinogen," the American Cancer Society's Lichtenfeld said.

"Young women in particular are the heaviest users of tanning beds, and are at the greatest risk of causing harm to themselves," he said. "This report also puts to rest the argument that tanning with UVA light is safe."

A representative of the tanning bed industry was less impressed by the ruling, however.

"The fact that the IARC has put tanning bed use in the same category as sunlight is hardly newsworthy," said Dan Humiston, president of the Indoor Tanning Association (ITA). "The UV light from a tanning bed is equivalent to UV light from the sun, which has had a group 1 classification since 1992. Some other items in this category are red wine, beer and salted fish. The ITA has always emphasized the importance of moderation when it comes to UV light from either the sun or a tanning bed."

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) each regulate tanning beds and sunlamps. The FDA regulates labeling of the devices and the FTC regulates advertising claims about the devices.

The FDA currently requires tanning salons to direct all customers to wear protective eye goggles and advises consumers to limit their exposure to tanning devices, and avoid them if you have certain medical conditions such as lupus or diabetes or are susceptible to cold sores.

In addition, the FDA requires labels on these devices that warn of skin aging, skin cancer and eye injury. However, in 2007 the FDA began a review of these warnings and is considering strengthening its warnings about the risk of skin cancer and eye damage, according to the agency.

Another expert, Dr. Jeffrey C. Salomon, an assistant clinical professor of plastic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, believes the time has come for the FDA to restrict the use of tanning beds and to issue stronger warnings of their dangers.

"It's hard to raise the level of concern regarding the use of tanning beds any higher with what is being reported as a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma when tanning beds are used before the age of 30," Salomon reasoned. "Tanning beds now reside in the highest category of potential cancer risk, carcinogenic to humans. Legislation to restrict tanning bed use by minors and a requirement for a black box warning to consumers is now necessary," he said.

SOURCES: Beatrice Secretan, Ph.D., Cancer Monograph Working Group, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Jeffrey C. Salomon, M.D., assistant clinical professor, plastic surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Dan Humiston, president, Indoor Tanning Association; August 2009, The Lancet Oncology Published on: July 29, 2009